U.S. professor shot dead in Cleveland
A COLLEGE professor was shot and killed at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi yesterday, and the school was placed on lockdown amid reports that an active shooter was spotted on campus. According to the Bolivar County Coroner, the victim, identified as 50-year-old history professor, Ethan Schmidt, was found dead inside his office at the school, which is located about 120 miles northwest of Jackson. He was shot in the head while in his office.
Officials advised students to “stay inside and away from windows”. More than 3,500 students are enrolled at the four-year public university. According to Schmidt’s Facebook page, he had been married for nearly 17 years and has two young sons and a daughter. Before Schmidt was identified, friends of the slain professor posted heartbreaking messages on his Facebook page inquiring about this wellbeing. “Watching CNN about events on your campus,” one wrote. “Please let us know when you can!” “Yes, please let us know if you are ok,” wrote another. “Thoughts and prayers to you all at DSU.” Schmidt attended Emporia State University in Kansas with Yahoo News editor Everett Starling, and the two had remained friends. Starling said Schmidt was very involved at Emporia State, including serving as student body president. “He’s somebody that I never knew to ever have a quibble with anyone,” Starling said. “He’s one of the best people you will ever know.” Starling added: “I’m stunned. He’s a great guy.”
According to his Facebook page, Schmidt was planning to attend a celebration today marking Delta State’s 90th anniversary. The hunt for Schmidt’s killer has brought together campus police and city police, as well as the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Schmidt’s Delta State biography says that he taught undergraduate courses in American history, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas in 2007. Schmidt had written several books and scholarly papers and had expertise in Native American history.
Before working at Delta State, he taught for six years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011.